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20 April 2017, 07:09 | Kelvin Horton
US and Canada dispute milk trade
"Now that it's only 10, 11 days away, I guess it's starting to hit home harder".
Tip their milk cart even slightly, however, and you will see farmers hauling their tractors and cows onto Parliament Hill, as was witnessed last summer when 3,000 farmers invaded Ottawa in a well-organized convoy to protest powdered milk protein being allowed to enter Canada from the United States tariff-free.
The U.S. dairy groups, however, said their difficulty in exporting dairy products to Canada were a "direct consequence" of Canada's National Ingredients Strategy and new Class 7 milk pricing program.
This has been a source of irritation for other dairy-producing countries.
A study for the Canadian Petroleum Producers - one of the first to gauge the likely impact of a new border tax - suggests that in the event of the introduction of such a tax Canada's boast of preferential access would be hollow.
More than four dozen dairy farmers, industry representatives and others gathered in Beaver Dam on Friday to discuss solutions for milk producers affected by a recent decision by Grassland Dairy Products Inc., of Greenwood, which informed several dozen dairy farms, most from Wisconsin and some from Minnesota, it no longer would accept milk after May 1.
Verleger cited an example of Dead River Oil, a marketer in ME that purchases most of its supplies from Irving Petroleum in Canada, and would see its import costs rise 25 per cent under the proposed new tax.
American groups say that agreement means U.S. exports of these high-protein milk products are being elbowed out of the Canadian market for a domestic supply, costing United States farm jobs.
Trump said he would start working on a solution with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, agree and have accused Canada of violating existing trade agreements between the two countries.
"The problems this pricing policy are creating for dairy farmers in Wisconsin, New York and Minnesota are real, and they have nothing to do with US "overproduction, ' as alleged in a recent letter from Canada's Ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton". He called Canada's policies "very unfair".
On Tuesday, Trump told an audience of dairy farmers in Wisconsin that he would stand up for their livelihoods.
Trump repeated his desire to alter rules that govern the more than $1 billion in cross-border trade that passes between the US and Canada every day. While he doesn't see the policy being reversed, he's hopeful the USA government will use it as a bargaining chip when renegotiating NAFTA. Critics, like Conservative Party leadership candidate Maxime Bernier, who has called it a cartel, say the system has artificially increased the price of dairy, chicken and eggs.
Ellis' main focus at the moment, though, is the future of Cayuga Milk Ingredients.
They're seeking customers to fill the void left by the Canadian companies that used to purchase ultra-filtered milk for cheese production. "It's going to take awhile", Dave Roskopf said. It is a convenient resource for dairy farmers to review the antibiotics approved for use in dairy animals and to develop the comprehensive, on-farm best management practices necessary to avoid milk and meat residues. We're not doing anything illegal, but the Americans just have an axe to grind, " said Herman. "It's just that we lost a good piece of profitable business with Canada".
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